The French Yellow Book

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No. 167 :
M. DE SEGUIN, French Chargé d'Affaires in Warsaw, to M. Georges Bonnet, Minister for Foreign Affairs. Warsaw, July 20, 1939.

MY British colleague has just informed me of the interview which he and General Ironside had yesterday with Marshal Rydz-Smigly and M. Beck.

General Ironside started by giving the Marshal an assurance that Poland could rely absolutely on Great Britain. He then availed himself of this assurance to put to these gentlemen certain definite questions on the action contemplated by the Polish Government in the different eventualities which might occur at Danzig. The questions put and the answers given, sometimes by the Marshal and sometimes by M. Beck, when the Marshal referred the questions to him, were as follows:

(1) What will Poland do if the Anschluss is purely and simply proclaimed without any such military demonstration as the entry of German troops, etc.?

Reply: Poland considers that a protest should be lodged in Berlin by the three Powers.

(2) What will Poland do if units of the Reichswehr openly occupy the territory of the Free City?

Reply: The Polish General Staff will send officers to the commandant of such units to demand an explanation of such an action.

Such are the replies given from the Polish side to the questions put by the British General. They do little more than define the procedure which would be adopted in the circumstances suggested, without giving any indication of the Polish reaction if the Germans refused to take cognizance of protests against an accomplished fact.

When General Ironside spoke of the possible consequences of an "incident," the Marshal replied that the Germans were indeed capable of adopting such means of provoking hostilities, but that, if they did so, they were bound to disclose their intentions in advance through the preliminary measures they must take before proceeding to action. General Ironside asked what the actual situation was from this point of view. The Marshal replied that the German military activities seemed to be directed towards attempts at intimidation, but that for the time being they did not seem to indicate arrangements for a possible conflict in the near future.


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